Visual Studio Online is in Europe!

Today we opened up our shiny, new VS Online instance in the Azure “West Europe” region, which is located in the Netherlands.  This is a big step and is the first of many more to come in making VS Online a truly global service.  I’ve been getting requests for over a year to provide the ability to host data in different regions – for some it’s about the comfort of having their data on “home soil”.  For others it’s about reduced latency to access the service.  Whatever your reason, Europe is now an option for you.

You can get started today by going to http://visualstudio.com and creating a new account.  The account creation page will auto detect the data center that’s nearest to you or you can click the “change options” link to override the choice.

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As I’ve done here…

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It’s that easy and now you have an account in Europe!  You can also choose your region using the VS Online account creation flows in the Azure portal or the Azure preview portal.

Let’s dig into some of the nitty gritty questions that you are likely to want to ask…

An entire account is bound to a region – you can’t have some data in one region and other data in another.  If you want projects in different regions, for now, you have to have them in separate accounts.  This is something we may change in the future.

You can go to the account settings to verify which region your account is in.

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There is currently no way to move an existing account from one region to another.  Enabling this is the next thing on our list but is likely to take a few months.  We do have a way to do it manually in an absolute emergency and you can contact support if you are in dire need but because it’s a manual process today, we can’t move very many.  We will ask most people to wait just a bit longer.

Although we have our first instance in a non-US, non-English speaking region, we do not yet support a localized experience for VS Online.  You can enter data in any language you wish but the UI for VS Online is currently English only.  This is something we expect to begin addressing sometime next year.

When you locate an account in a region, all of the “account data” is limited to that region and does not leave.  There is some data that is not limited to the region, our directory of accounts, user directory information and some diagnostic and operational data are examples of things that are “global data” and not restricted only to the selected region.  However, your source, work items, builds, etc all will only exist in the selected region.

As of right now, the services available in the West European region include – Source code control (both TFVC and Git), Work item tracking/project management, Team Rooms, Build automation, Test case management and load testing.  Application Insights (which is still in preview) is not yet available in Europe but will in the timeframe that we reach GA.  Selecting the location for your VSOnline account automatically selects that region for all of the services that are available in that region.  So, for instance, creating an account in West Europe will automatically cause you to also use the build service in West Europe.  There is currently no way to choose regions on a service by service basis.

We plan to add additional regions around the world.  I don’t have a clear roadmap for that and it will depend entirely on demand.  We had quite a lot of demand for a European instance and all other requests were distant seconds.  If you really would like to see an instance in another region, please let us know.  Also feel free to use http://visualstudio.uservoice.com to create a suggestion and let people vote on it.  If there is sufficient demand, we can now create new instances within weeks.

Brian